As November rolled into December this past week – Mary and I began to think about our goals for the farm in 2013. Even though we still have a month to finish our goals list – we already agree on our top 5 goals for next year. So, barring the collapse of the world as predicted by the Mayans…here they are:
1. The Recycled Window Greenhouse
All of the materials for this project are in the barn and ready to go! Thanks to remodeling projects at my sister and mom’s house this past year, we have about 40 windows to work with. Hopefully, we can have this mini greenhouse up and functional by late spring. We will use the greenhouse in the coming years to start our plants and hanging baskets in early spring – and then hopefully grow some lettuce and herb crops through the colder months.
2. Fencing The Garden
This may be more of a necessity than we originally thought. We have been very fortunate the past few years with deer and other animals leaving our garden crops alone. However, it seems they are starting to notice a little more, especially with the addition of the fruit trees. In fact, in the open field to the left of our garden – you can even see where the deer have recently bedded down – just 50 yards or so from the garden! With that in mind – our plan is to finish wrapping the fence around the entire garden and installing a couple of gates on each side.
3. Building The New Chicken Coop
I think we underestimated the market for farm fresh eggs among family and friends! Our original coop was built to house a maximum of 10 to 12 hens. Although it has served us well – we need a larger structure that can hold around 20 to 24 and give the hens even more room to roam. If the weather cooperates – we hope to get the structure built by mid-March. The plan is to use reclaimed lumber to build a 1/4 scale model of our barn as the coop – and yes, it will be complete with a mini pergola just like the barn to match. After all – the chickens need a place to have shade and relax too!
In addition to the sensory garden walkway we are building, Mary would really like to incorporate the entire farm into a Sensory Garden experience for Autistic and Special Needs Children. We now have a large space cleared at the top of the hill to build the walkway garden. The plan is to begin planting and shaping in the surrounding bed and station spaces throughout the spring and summer. We would like to include a pergola pavilion area, swing area, sand box and other sensory stations on the pathway. Our hope is to have the walkway portion completed by fall. (For more on the particulars of the Sensory Garden Project, you can click the picture to the right)
5. Bees & Honey
Hopefully in the spring, we will add our first honey bee hive to the farm. I have always wanted to be able to make our own honey – not to mention all of the added advantages of having our own honey bees to pollinate the garden, fruit trees and grapes and flowers. We have a lot to learn in the coming months about the art of beekeeping!
Hope everyone has a great Sunday!
Jim and Mary